Sea-run cutthroat and chum don't mix!

The sea-run cutthroat fishing has been pretty good over the past month. However, now that chum salmon are starting to show up in numbers, the sea-run cutthroat fisheries "game" has changed. It appears that the chum salmon have scared the sea-run cutthroat away from many of their usual "hang outs" They don't want to have anything to do with 8 to 12 lb. fish with shark-like teeth that are going airborne. The sea-run cutthroat had to be hanging around somewhere waiting to follow the chum salmon into freshwater to feast on salmon eggs.

The strategy which i used yesterday was to fish locations several hundred yards or more away from all the chum salmon activity. It paid off as I landed some nice sized sea-run cutthoat on an olive/white sequin tube clouser minnow as shown in the photo. I didn't try any top water patterns.

I noticed out in deeper water at a location that some small baitfish were getting chased up to the water surface. I immediately thought that there were some nice sized sea-run cuthroat doing the chasing. I moved the boat out into deeper water and was surprised to land some small sized hatchery blackmouth salmon. I'll have to keep an eye on that area as there might be a winter/spring blackmouth salmon fisheries in that area.



Nice report Roger. Good thinking to get that puzzle figured out.

I was thoroughly enjoying watching some nice sized sea run cutthroat hanging out behind the chums and silvers in a small creek. They were quite active and very fun to watch


The wanted posters say Tim Hartman
Nice sized fish in your pic, Roger and way to go on adapting to what's currently happening in the salty world!!

Rich Schager

You should have been here yesterday...
Roger, i've also have caught a few small sized blackmouth this year (South Sound), which is unusual...


Jeff Dodd

Active Member
Great report Roger.

I have encountered swarms of these young hatchery Chinook off Whidbey in November near the eel grass beds. 6 or 8 20" fish following right to the boat! Fun to see for sure.
Very nice report Roger! Blackmouth are a nice bycatch huh? I have several beaches that don't fish as well one the chum move in, I think they just don't like the crowds... but who knows...

Sent from my SCH-I535 using Tapatalk
Fishing one of my favorite South Puget Sound beaches for searuns in mid October, a sizeable pod of early arrival chum appeared. On a tide/time/weather combination that I though should be very good I caught nada. One chum did somehow, bite, floss, snag, itself on my cutthroat fly. On a 5 wt with 3x leader it was fun for a while but really no contest. Next day, 8 wt armed, I had every fly in my box ignored till I put on a marabou popsicle stick and cast #2 produced a cutthroat. Only fish of the day but a good one. View attachment 34731 Wondered if it was bravely following the chum.



The wanted posters say Tim Hartman
I got two nice SRC just about dark last night within spittin' distance of a major chum creek with a fair amount of doggies finning and jumping.

Truth be told, I was tossing for the chumlies with my 8-weight but happened to find the cutts!

That's what I like about SRC: they don't hold to any conventional behavior!

To borrow a quote from Winston Churchill they are "a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma"!

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